By Percy Tavagwisa
During the budget announcement made by Hon Patrick A. Chinamasa, Minister of Finance & Economic Development, a proposal to charge all mobile money transfer transaction has been tabled before parliament
The minister has proposed a charge across all the networks, a levy which will see all transactions carrying an extra cost of US$0.05 irregardless of the amount.
The big question ofcourse is who will brunt the costs, the customer or the mobile network operator, chances are high the subscriber may be passed on this extra charge as operators may evade these extra costs which when summed up will amount to millions or billions by year end.
The minister said “ Mr Speaker Sir, the emergence of mobile technology has opened
doors to innovative technology which facilitates transfer of fund through mobile phones.
This new phenomenon has provided greater flexibility and financial inclusivity to the majority of the population in remote areas where banking services are not available Notwithstanding the positive impact of mobile banking services on the welfare of the then financially excluded members of our society, this product should, however, conform to the tax principle of fairness, hence, the current tax on similar products such as Automotive Teller Machines (ATM) and Point of Sale (POS) should apply.
Intermediated Money Transfer Tax In order to level the playing field, I propose to levy an intermediated money transfer tax of US$0.05 per transaction whenever a transfer of funds occurs between two persons using the mobile platform service. The mobile service operator will be obliged to withhold the intermediated money transfer tax.